Thursday, June 15, 2017

Courthouse guard handcuffs reporter, seizes phone

Douglass Dowty, court reporter for and The Post-Standard, is handcuffed and surrounded by court security officers this morning in the Onondaga County Courthouse. An officer handcuffed Dowty after Dowty took photos of a man being arrested following a brawl in the hallway. Dowty wasn't charged and was released a few minutes later. The officer who handcuffed Dowty is against the wall, to the left of Dowty.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. June 15 2017 - A court security officer handcuffed a reporter for and The Post-Standard this morning after the reporter took pictures of an arrest in the hallway of the Onondaga County Courthouse.
The New York state court officer ordered the reporter, Douglass Dowty, to turn over his cell phone then handcuffed him about 10:45 a.m.
Dowty's hands were cuffed behind his back for about five minutes and he remained in police custody for 10 minutes before other court officers released him.
Dowty was not charged.
The state's top court security official, Chief Michael Magliano, was quickly notified about the incident, according to a spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration in New York City.
"We're aware of it and it's being investigated," said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for OCA. "We told them we want everything by the end of the day. Whatever action is taken depends on what transpired."
Chalfen did not have the officer's name or other details.
"They're supposed to be professional," he said of court officers.
Journalists have long been allowed to take photos and videos in the courthouse's hallways. About a year ago, signs were posted warning the public not to take pictures in the hallways. Court administrators, however, said journalists could continue to film and shoot pictures.

Dowty, 33, the courts reporter with and The Post-Standard for 3 1/2 years, was covering courts this morning when a fight broke out outside the trial of a man accused of murder. 

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